UKFC names current development fund chief as head of new production fund created by restructure.

Tanya Seghatchian, currently head of the UK Film Council’s (UKFC) Development Fund, has been appointed as the head of the UK Film Council’s new film production fund. It follows the merger of the development, new cinema and premiere funds.

The $24m (£15m) production fund, which will be topped up by any recoupment made by the UKFC on its investments, will focus on first and second time film-makers as well as supporting innovative and digital film-making.

Seghatchian has been running the development fund since April 2007, during which time she has supported films including In The Loop and Nowhere Boy. She is famous for being the development executive at Heyday Films who discovered the Harry Potter franchise and for co-founding Apocalypso Pictures with Pawel Pawlikowski, where she produced My Summer Of Love.

Tim Bevan, chairman of the UFFC, said: “Tanya shone through in what was an incredibly strong line-up of candidates. She will be responsible for establishing the brand new £15m Film Fund with creative excellence at its heart. At a time of real turbulence for independent film-makers, I am confident that Tanya’s experience and passion will ensure that they have a supportive, energetic and understanding champion.”

He added: “Tanya is hugely respected across the film sector and has a fantastic track-record with creative talent, supporting filmmakers at all stages of their career and developing exciting film projects, ranging from Harry Potter and My Summer of Love to the UK Film Council-backed In The Loop and Fish Tank.”

Seghatchian, who will report directly to John Woodward, chief cxecutive of the UK Film Council, added: “It is a huge privilege to have been asked to take on this new role. Our film-makers are currently amongst the very best in the world, but the challenging financial climate and the speed of technological change mean that now more than ever they need a supportive and reliable home which invests in creative excellence and encourages boldness.

“I’m really looking forward to working closely with the film industry to establish an accessible and ambitious new fund which will protect investment in British talent and champion the importance of a dynamic film culture.”

The appointment of three senior executives, who will work alongside Seghatchian, is due to be announced by the UKFC shortly.